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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Open Source

Linux 3.10 Officially Released 157

Posted by timothy
from the busy-weekend dept.
hypnosec writes with word that "The Linux 3.10 kernel has been officially released on Sunday evening which makes the 3.10-rc7 the last release candidate of the latest kernel which yields the biggest changes in years. Linus Torvalds was thinking of releasing another rc but, went against the idea and went ahead with official Linux 3.10 commit as anticipated last week. Torvalds notes in the announcement that releases since Linux 3.9 haven't been prone to problems and 3.10 is no different."
Security

Backdoor Discovered In Atlassian Crowd 133

Posted by timothy
from the your-gate-is-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Recently published on the Command Five website is a technically detailed threat advisory (PDF) in relation to a recurring vulnerability in Atlassian Crowd. Tucked away inconspicuously at the end of this document in a section entitled 'Unpatched Vulnerabilities' is the real security bombshell: Atlassian's turnkey solution for enterprise single sign-on and secure user authentication contains an unpatched backdoor. The backdoor allows anyone to remotely take full control of a Crowd server and, according to Command Five, successful exploitation 'invariably' results in compromise of all application and user credentials as well as accessible data storage, configured directories (for example Active Directory), and dependent systems."
Cellphones

The Average Movie Theater Has Hundreds of Screens 924

Posted by timothy
from the this-is-why-there-are-tasers dept.
theodp writes "The "average" movie theater reportedly has a capacity of 200-300 people. Which, thanks to the wonder of mobile devices, means that it also has hundreds of screens. And — thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and texting — hundreds of potential annoyances. Which prompts NY film critic David Edelstein to ask: How Should We Treat Texters and Talkers at Movie Theaters? 'Has our culture become so private that no one knows how to behave anymore in public?' Edelstein wonders. 'Is selfishness the rule rather than exception? Are people who say, "Shut up and turn off your phone" today's version of "You kids get off my lawn"?' Jason Bailey argues that the only way to solve movie theaters' talking and texting problem is to give in to it, perhaps with anything-goes phone-friendly talk-amongst-yourselves screenings in the seven and eight o'clock hours coupled with no-tolerance shows later in the evening. Any other ideas?" You could always throw it.
Displays

Why Apple and Samsung Still Get Along, Behind the Courtroom Battles 125

Posted by timothy
from the commerce-keeps-people-friendly dept.
After suing each other for the last few years in various courts around the world, you'd think that if Apple and Samsung were human beings they would have walked away from their rocky relationship a while back. The Wall Street Journal explains (beside the larger fact that they're both huge companies with complex links, rather than a squabbling couple) why it's so hard for Apple to take up with another supplier. Things are starting to look different, though: "Apple's deal this month to start buying chips from TSMC is a milestone. Apple long wanted to build its own processors, and it bought a chip company in 2008 to begin designing the chips itself. But it continued to rely on Samsung to make them. ... TSMC plans to start mass-producing the chips early next year using advanced '20-nanometer' technology, which makes the chips potentially smaller and more energy-efficient."
Robotics

RoboCup 2013: Team Water Is Middle Size League World Champion 16

Posted by timothy
from the were-there-riots-in-the-streets? dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a bit of sports commentary on the just-concluded RoboCup 2013 soccer matches: "Previously achieved results are no guarantee for the future, as was demonstrated once again in the final match of the Middle Size League. Team Tech United Eindhoven had reached the final unbeaten and without a single goal against them, but the Chinese team Water turned out to be the stronger party in the final." It's hard to stop watching video of soccer-playing robots.
Encryption

Flaws In ZRTPCPP Library, Used In Secure Phone Apps 42

Posted by timothy
from the fix-is-in dept.
Gunkerty Jeb writes "A security researcher has uncovered a number of serious vulnerabilities in one of the core security components of several secure telephony applications, including the Silent Circle system developed by PGP creator Phil Zimmermann. The vulnerabilities in the GNU ZRTPCPP library already have been addressed in a new version of the library and Silent Circle has implemented a fix, as well. ZRTPCPP is a library that implements the ZRTP protocol that Zimmermann and others developed to establish secure sessions over a pre-existing connection. Silent Circle, which sells a cryptographically secure mobile phone application, and several other products implement the ZRTPCPP library, and Mark Dowd of Azimuth Security has identified several vulnerabilities in the library that could give an attacker the ability to get remote code execution. Dowd said that the bugs can be exploited by remote, unauthenticated users."
The Almighty Buck

Clinkle Wants To Become Your Wallet 121

Posted by timothy
from the joint-checking-account dept.
vikingpower writes "Clinkle, a new mobile payments start-up, may or may not have succeeded where so many other efforts have fizzled by inventing a practical way to replace credit cards with smartphones. It's hard to say, though, since Clinkle won't say much about how its system works. Its website is, well ... slight. But a prominent group of Silicon Valley investors who do know what Clinkle is cooking up are acting as though it has achieved a breakthrough. On Thursday, Clinkle announced that it had raised $25 million in early financing from Accel Partners; Andreessen Horowitz; Intel; Intuit; Marc Benioff, the chief executive of Salesforce.com; Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal; and a long list of other investors with technology industry pedigrees. The Huffington Post has an article on Clinkle, or rather on Stanford students putting their degree on hold to go work at Clinkle. The Wall Street Journal [paywalled] mentions Clinkle having some 30-odd employees already."
Earth

Google Street View Backpack Now Available To Volunteers 108

Posted by timothy
from the salt-mines-of-poland dept.
It's not just for obscure Japanese islands anymore: reader NobleSavage writes with news that "If you're a tourism board, non-profit, university, research organization or other third party who can gain access and help collect imagery of hard to reach places, you can apply to borrow the Trekker and help map the world." You can also help map the world (albeit without the very neat Trekker backpack cam) without an application process via OpenStreetMap. But if you had access to a panoramic camera like this, what places or spaces would you want to capture? I hope there will be street view imagery of Petra, but I don't see any yet.
Communications

WA Post Publishes 4 More Slides On Data Collection From Google, Et Al 180

Posted by timothy
from the so-much-wool-so-many-eyes dept.
anagama writes "Lots of new program names, flowcharts, and detail in four previously unreleased PRISM slides published by the Washington Post today. These slides provide some additional detail about PRISM and outline how the NSA gets information from those nine well known internet companies. Apparently, the collection is done by the FBI using its own equipment on the various companies' premises and then passed to the NSA where it is filtered and sorted."
Businesses

Ask Slashdot: IT Spending In Engineering? 146

Posted by timothy
from the what-you-need-is-a-bean-counter-flinger dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I work in the engineering division at a large organization, about 2000 people total and about 900 in the engineering division. As I'm sure many institutions have been faced with recently, we are dealing with reduced budgets. We have a new director who has determined that the engineering division spends too much on 'IT' and has given us a goal of reducing IT spending by 50%. We currently spend about 8% of the total engineering budget on IT related purchases. About 10% of that (i.e. 0.8% of the total budget) is spent on what I consider traditional IT such as email, office automation software, etc.. The rest goes towards engineering related IT such as clusters for large computations, workstations for processing, better networks to handle the large data sets generated, data collection systems for testing facilities, etc.. My gut says that 8% is low compared to other engineering institutions. What do other engineering organizations spend on IT (traditional and engineering)? What strategy would you use to convince your management that 8% spending on IT is already very efficient?"
Privacy

To Counter Widespread Surveillance, Stealth Clothing 104

Posted by timothy
from the just-a-billion-dollars-apiece dept.
In Paul Theroux's dystopian novel O-Zone, wearing masks in public is simply a fact of life, because of the network of cameras that covers the inhabited parts of earth. Earthquake Retrofit writes with a story at the New York Times describing a life-imitating-art reaction to the perception (and reality) that cameras are watching more of your life than you might prefer: clothing that obscures your electronic presence. "[Adam Harvey] exhibited a number of his stealth-wear designs and prototypes in an art show this year in London. His work includes a series of hoodies and cloaks that use reflective, metallic fabric — like the kind used in protective gear for firefighters — that he has repurposed to reduce a person’s thermal footprint. In theory, this limits one’s visibility to aerial surveillance vehicles employing heat-imaging cameras to track people on the ground. He also developed a purse with extra-bright LEDs that can be activated when someone is taking unwanted pictures; the effect is to reduce an intrusive photograph to a washed-out blur. In addition, he created a guide for hairstyling and makeup application that might keep a camera from recognizing the person beneath the elaborate get-up. The technique is called CV Dazzle — a riff on 'computer vision' and 'dazzle,' a type of camouflage used during World War II to make it hard to detect the size and shape of warships."
Space

Voyager 1 Finds Unexpected Wrinkles At the Edge Of the Solar System 164

Posted by timothy
from the damn-thetans-are-playing-with-us dept.
Voyager 1 has been close to the boundary of the solar system for quite a while; we've mentioned that the edge is near a few times before, including an evidently premature report in 2010 that Voyager had reached a distance so far from the sun that it could no longer detect solar winds and another in 2011 that it had reached an "outer shell" of solar influence. It turns out that the boundaries of the solar system are fuzzier than once anticipated; the L.A. Times is reporting that "Toward the end of July 2012, Voyager 1's instruments reported that solar winds had suddenly dropped by half, while the strength of the magnetic field almost doubled, according to the studies. Those values then switched back and forth five times before they became fixed on Aug. 25. Since then, solar winds have all but disappeared, but the direction of the magnetic field has barely budged." Also at Wired, which notes "That's hard to explain because the galaxy's magnetic field is thought to be inclined 60 degrees from the sun's field. No one is entirely sure what's going on. ... [It's] almost as if Voyager thought it was going outside but instead found itself standing in the foyer of the sun's home with an open door that allows wind to blow in from the galaxy."
AI

Jetstream Retrofit Illustrates How Close Modern Planes Are To UAVs 205

Posted by timothy
from the hasn't-anyone-seen-airplanes-I-or-II? dept.
cylonlover writes with this Gizmag excerpt: "In April of this year, a BAE Systems Jetstream research aircraft flew from Preston in Lancashire, England, to Inverness, Scotland and back. This 500-mile (805 km) journey wouldn't be worth noting if it weren't for the small detail that its pilot was not on board, but sitting on the ground in Warton, Lancashire and that the plane did most of the flying itself. Even this alteration of a standard commercial prop plane into an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) seems a back page item until you realize that this may herald the biggest revolution in civil aviation since Wilbur Wright won the coin toss at Kitty Hawk in 1903."
Space

With Catastrophes In Mind, Supercomputing Project Simulates Space Junk Collision 15

Posted by timothy
from the even-better-than-the-real-thing dept.
aarondubrow writes "Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin developed a fundamentally new way of simulating fabric impacts that captures the fragmentation of the projectiles and the shock response of the target. Running hundreds of simulations on supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, they assisted NASA in the development of ballistic limit curves that predict whether a shield will be perforated when hit by a projectile of a given size and speed. The framework they developed also allows them to study the impact of projectiles on body armor materials and to predict the response of different fabric weaves upon impact." With thousands of known pieces of man-made space junk, as well plenty of natural ones, it's no idle concern.
Games

The Father of Civilization: Profile of Sid Meier 208

Posted by timothy
from the he's-just-this-guy-you-know? dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a link to Kotaku's recent profile of Civilization creator Sid Meier, and includes this snippet: "One year, as [coworker John] Stealey recalls, the two men went to an electronics trade conference. On the second night of the show, they stumbled upon a bunch of arcade games in a basement. One by one, Meier beat Stealey at each of them. Then they found Atari's Red Baron, a squiggly flight game in which you'd steer a biplane through abstract outlines of terrain and obstacles. Stealey, the Air Force man, knew he could win at this one. He sat down at the machine and shot his way to 75,000 points, ranking number three on the arcade's leaderboard. Not bad. Then Meier went up. He scored 150,000 points. 'I was really torqued,' Stealey says today. This guy outflew an Air Force pilot? He turned to the programmer. 'Sid, how did you do that?' 'Well,' Meier said. 'While you were playing, I memorized the algorithms.'"

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